Waste Characterisation and Classification

WRc informs and guides resource recovery by assessment of feedstock, ash and other waste treatment or industrial processes.

Dr Paul Eades is our expert in Waste Characterisation

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Informed advice for your waste challenges

WRc helps clients to understand the basic characteristics of their wastes - type, quantity, physical and chemical properties and waste classification - in order to make informed recovery option assessments. We also assess other materials and products to advise on end-of-life recovery and disposal options.

We highlight ‘problem’ parameters which may compromise resource recovery goals such as committing zero waste to landfill. This includes routine monitoring of feedstocks and treatment residues from mechanical, biological, chemical and thermal waste treatment processes.

Decisions based on trust and credibility 

WRc works for manufacturers, waste producers and trade bodies across multiple industrial sectors, using bespoke approaches and novel test methods that position us between routine laboratories and universities. As an independent trusted advisor to industry, our verified solutions have credibility with the regulators.

WRc offers sampling plan development to ensure samples and test data are representative. Our full characterisation packages also include biodegradability testing and landfill Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) assessments. We carry out a multi-tiered approach to 15 hazardous property and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) assessments. This is undertaken according to Environment Agency EA/SEPA/NRW guidance WM3 to avoid misclassification of waste.

Experts with proven industry experience

Proven experience supporting waste producers from various industries to improve their processes and achieve their sustainability goals.

Holistic approach to waste characterisation

Specialist lab-based consultancy using waste characterisation to unlock the value of waste on challenging national waste streams.

Trusted and credible within the industry

Trusted, independent partner of key trade bodies working within the waste and resources industry, providing solutions that have credibility with the regulators.

Meaningful and understandable reporting

We care about ensuring you avoid waste misclassification, optimise compliance and safeguard your reputation. Our team provide expert consultancy; we don’t simply supply lab results.

Challenges we solve

  • Copper speciation to inform waste classification
  • Zinc speciation aiding waste hazard assessment
  • Lead compounds 'weight of evidence' review

WRc provides techniques to help determine the chemical form (species) of the copper in wastes - distinguishing between the non-ecotoxic species, such as copper metal as used in wiring, or ecotoxic species, such as the oxide.

  • XAFS assessment using synchrotrons
  • Verification of compounds to be excluded from waste hazardous property assessments
  • Geochemical fingerprint speciation modelling
  • Development of a selective extraction technique

WRc can undertake specialist testing and geochemical fingerprint speciation modelling to determine the controlling phases of zinc present in incinerator bottom ash (IBA).

Projects for the Environmental Services Association (ESA) have shown these zinc compounds to be mainly non-ecotoxic in IBA from municipal waste. Our services have informed zinc concentration regulations for hazardous property assessments*, thereby reducing the quantity of non-hazardous waste unnecessarily being landfilled.

*Waste hazardous property assessments are required for all compounds in the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation 1272/2008/EC, whether the compounds have harmonised or non-harmonised classifications. This introduces an extra 200+ zinc compounds into the assessment according to EA guidance WM3.

WRc's waste and toxicology experts can provide reviews for lead compounds potentially present in IBA, including physico-chemical properties and (non-) harmonised chemical classifications, while taking into consideration authoritative risk assessments and opinions from expert panels e.g. ECHA and IARC.

Our services increased industry understanding of the complex issue of hazard classification of lead compounds in IBA. A previous review for the ESA delivered supporting evidence for an assessment of carcinogenicity.

WRc specialist Waste Doctors

Our waste and resource specialists also offer management of complex testing programmes using a basket of approved external laboratories, laboratory treatment trials and bespoke characterisation to help industry recover value from waste.

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We come up with the problems, you come up with the solutions. What more can I ask?

Margam Green Energy Limited

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Dr Paul Eades

Commercial Manager (Waste & Resources)

Paul has extensive experience in both industry and academia, specialising in waste and resource management, energy and mass balance modelling, life cycle inventory analyses, environmental impact assessment, the assessment on urban form on waste management systems, and scenario development for future waste growth and composition patterns. For a number of years, he has been actively involved with specialist waste characterisation and classification within the Energy from Wastes sector.